I went to another kickboxing class (i promise, i will try something different before this is over) and again, enjoyed it a lot. I was thinking about how I've only competed in team sports (soccer, basketball, and more recreationally volleyball, kickball, etc.) and how different it is to rely solely on myself. My skill (or lack of...) only affects me. The only measure of how I'm doing is coming from within myself, reflecting week to week on what I'm capable of now that I wasn't able to do before. I know not everything is a contest and I can't help but be competitive, mostly with myself.
I started the 8-count beginning Lindy Hop class this week. The class had around 30 people in it, which made it about as large as my first 6-count class (there were always 20-30 people at each session of the 6-count series). When I signed up to do this last month, I was concerned that the classes would be very small and was a bit apprehensive about attending on my own. It’s nice to have a full class and I am certainly not the only person attending classes on my own. Most of the class is spent in a circle – leads stay in place and follows rotate around which means we get to dance with different partners while learning new steps. Usually by the end of class we've made it around the circle at least once.
I can now say I'm a regular: I went to my second kickboxing class. Maybe regular status is a little premature...repeat. Anyway it felt really good to have some idea of what I was doing and what to expect.
I've noticed that since kickboxing is so new to me, I have to really focus and think about what I'm doing, which I'm not used to in soccer. Part of what I love about soccer is getting out of my head (a rare event) and being in the moment. The essence of mindfulness I guess. And with learning kickboxing, it's different because I can't not be in my head. At the same time I need that balance of trusting myself and not over thinking it. It seemed like I had made some progress on the areas Marvin kept pointing out to me in the first class....and replaced them with new issues haha. All in the name of progress.
With my first set of classes, that is. This week I went to my final 6-count beginning Lindy Hop class. We spent the class reviewing what we learned in prior weeks. This meant less time working on individual moves and more time practicing putting them all together while continuously dancing. Follows were also challenged to close our eyes while dancing. This was a little scary but very effective in proving that when following it’s more important to feel what your lead is doing rather than to see it. I was able to do this for a little bit, but chickened out on send outs. Knowing that I can dance with my eyes closed feels pretty amazing – four weeks ago I couldn’t even dance with my eyes open!
Humbling is the word that comes to mind after going to a Figher-FIT class for the first time. I think my soreness lasted about 3 days. As I've said, I play soccer and go to the gym regularly. People often express surprise/sentiments of "you're nuts" when it comes up that I'm so active and especially that I go to the gym in the morning before work. I usually feel a little uncomfortable because I always think 1) anyone can do it and 2) It's not like I'm pushing myself that hard. I could do more.
Well, turns out.. just because I can do more doesn't mean I always want to and it feels good to know that I can push myself when I want to.
I think a lot about how I could do more, be better, work harder, etc. And that constant focus on what's not rather than what is, is exhausting and not helpful. It's a fine line between wanting to grow (in working out, at work, in relationships etc.) and perfectionism, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one fighting this.
It’s pretty great to have the opportunity to exercise and learn something new. I’m consistently leaving class feeling happy and energized. It’s a feeling that I get whenever I exercise but in addition to my regular post gym feeling, this week I also felt accomplishment. I’m getting better at dancing and am able to do more. Three weeks ago I couldn’t have said anything about the technicalities involved in swing dancing – all I really knew was that it looked fun. Now I know about rock steps, triple steps, send outs, bring ins, tuck turns, side passes, and even sugar pushes. While I still have a lot to work on, I’m getting better and feel more confident with my footwork and my ability to take cues from my partner.
I went to my first class – kickboxing (Saturday, 11 am). It was awesome. The only time I’ve “kickboxed” was 10 years ago, for about an hour and we didn’t use bags, gloves, etc. It was supplementing my high school soccer try-out and I remember really enjoying it and thinking it was hard…and 10 years later, essentially the same reaction.
As is to be expected, the dance moves we’re learning in class are getting a bit more complicated. While this could be more challenging for leads, as a follow with a penchant for perfection, I’m having a hard time letting go of control. This week we learned how to side pass and tuck turn. The side pass was relatively simple to learn and a lot of fun to do. However, I had a hard time being a good follow on the tuck turn because while I should have been feeling what was going to happen next, I was trying to get ahead of the lead by anticipating. The tuck turn we learned involved a clockwise rotation, which I was determined to get right through anticipation. This subconscious strategy didn’t work too well for me – it was hard to move with my partner to even get to the turn when I was so focused on turning the correct way.
I want to live outside of my comfort zone and I need a little push to get started. I regularly work out, going to the gym and playing soccer and while the routine works for me, I want more than "a routine that works." I want to feel exhausted and alive, challenged and scared, and I can see myself getting that experience from Redline. I've looked into it before and shied away, because of a bunch of reasons that all translate to fear. I'm afraid of doing something different, something hard and something where I may "fail" and it is for all of those reasons that I need to do it. If I were to get this opportunity I really would have no excuse but to put myself out there and even more, share what that process is like by blogging about it.
Swing dance has always been intriguing to me. It brings to mind both the exceptional dancing that's portrayed in movies and some of the more basic dancing that I've experienced at parties with friends who are regular swing dancers. I have typically shied away from structured partner dancing - I definitely have two left feet, which I’ve been assured will work themselves out with time and practice.
I wasn’t certain of what to expect during the first lindy hop class with the New Swing School – the last dance class I took was ballet when I was in elementary school. Going in I thought that we would start slowly but that was certainly not what happened! Of course I should have understood this – I’m taking this class primarily for exercise.